Mania on Manic Street as Welsh win top prize

THERE WAS finally some good news for Wales yesterday when two of the Principality's biggest bands walked off with the major prizes in the prestige Q Music Awards.

The Manic Street Preachers were named Best Band in the World by readers of the magazine, taking the crown from last year's winners, Oasis.

The award tops a successful year for the band. It saw its album This is my Truth Tell Me Yours go to number one, as did a single from the album.

The other winning Welsh band was Catatonia, who picked up the best single award for "Road Rage". Catatonia, too, saw its album go to number one this year.

Both the Manics and Catatonia's lead singer Cerys Matthews were given last month as the reason why is its currently "Cool to be Welsh" by no less an authority than The Daily Telegraph.

At a ceremony in London hosted by Big Breakfast presenter Johnny Vaughan, Bristol band Massive Attack's difficult third LP, Mezzanine, was named best album.

As well as the reader awards, honorary titles were handed out to some survivors from the punk era. Former frontman with The Jam, Paul Weller, was rewarded with the title of Classic Songwriter for his catalogue of material which stretches back more than two decades.

Singer Debbie Harry was at the ceremony to collect a trophy on behalf of Blondie, who were presented with the Q Inspiration Award.

At the other end of the longevity scale, Southport-based group Gomez capped their recent success as winners of the Mercury Music Prize for their Bring It On album by being named best new band.

The Winners

Best Single Road Rage, Catatonia

Best Album Mezzanine, Massive Attack

Best New Band Gomez

Best Live Act Roni Size & Reprazent

Best Band In The World Today Manic Street Preachers

Best Producer Norman Cook

Classic songwriter Paul Weller

Q Inspiration Award Blondie

Lifetime Achievement Award REM